Author Topic: Undercarbonated bottles  (Read 1907 times)

Offline brewmonk

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Undercarbonated bottles
« on: May 18, 2011, 07:00:53 AM »
So I did my 3rd batch ever making a Dogfish Head 60 min IPA clone steeping grains and using DME:

Ingredients
US measurements (metric measurements)
8 lbs 8 oz of DME (3.85 kg of DME)
1 lb of crystal 40L (0.45 kg of crystal 40L)
1 oz Warrior hops(substituted Columbus)(28.3 g of Columbus hops)
1.75 oz Amarillo Gold (0.75 oz brewing and 1.0 oz dryhop)   (50 g of Amarillo hops (21.3 g brewing and 28.3 g dryhop))
1.25 oz Simcoe (0.75 brewing oz and 0.5 oz dryhop) (36 g of Simcoe hops (21.3 g brewing and 14.2 g dryhop))
WYeast American Ale 1056 - 125ml activator

Made a 2 liter yeast starter.

Ended up overshooting the original gravity by quite a bit: 1.082 instead of around 1.070.  (Yes, I should have diluted it for more beer  >:( )
After two weeks I dryhopped by just dumping the hops into the primary.
OG 1.082 to FG 1.020 (about 8.25% ABV I think)
A week after dryhopping I bottled.  I used 4 grams (113 oz) corn sugar, ending up with about 16 liters of beer to bottle (4.23 gallons).
I used Abbey de Leffe bottles with standard bottle caps and a typical double lever bottle capper.  They all seem properly sealed.
Stored the beer around 68 F for three weeks.  There's even some sediment in the bottles.
Just tried the beer and it is barely carbonated.  :o I tried two bottles and both had the same carbonation (or lack thereof).
The yeast should have taken the alcohol content fine.  I'm not sure what to check or what happened exactly.  The flavor is great, so I don't want to get rid of it (and I'll drink it like this if I have to), but it just needs a lot more carbonation.
I don't need to wait longer do I?
Any idea of what went wrong or what to check or is there anything I could do to get the carbonation going? ???  Help!
Br. Francis
Birra Nursia

Offline jwaldner

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #1 on: May 18, 2011, 07:08:50 AM »
Don't fret and be patient.  Good beer takes time to develop.  Just keep it in a warm place 68-72F for a few more weeks.  I've experienced the same thing and for me, my higer ABV beers typically take a little longer to carbonate when bottle conditioning.

Cheers!

Offline hokerer

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #2 on: May 18, 2011, 07:25:29 AM »
How did you mix in your priming sugar (oh, and I assume you really meant 4 oz not 4 gms)?  If it wasn't thouroughly mixed with the wort, you could have some bottles with almost no carb and others that could have a lot.
Joe

Offline brewmonk

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #3 on: May 18, 2011, 08:25:34 AM »
How did you mix in your priming sugar (oh, and I assume you really meant 4 oz not 4 gms)?  If it wasn't thouroughly mixed with the wort, you could have some bottles with almost no carb and others that could have a lot.

Yes, 4 oz of priming sugar.  I boiled it in a couple of cups of water, let it cool, then put it in my bottling bucket and then racked on top of that, so I would think it is pretty evenly mixed.
Br. Francis
Birra Nursia

Offline bluesman

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #4 on: May 18, 2011, 08:48:23 AM »
How did you mix in your priming sugar (oh, and I assume you really meant 4 oz not 4 gms)?  If it wasn't thouroughly mixed with the wort, you could have some bottles with almost no carb and others that could have a lot.

Yes, 4 oz of priming sugar.  I boiled it in a couple of cups of water, let it cool, then put it in my bottling bucket and then racked on top of that, so I would think it is pretty evenly mixed.

I recommend stirring the beer after racking the beer over the priming sugar. It's cheap insurance prior to bottling to ensure even distribution of the sugar. Also, the warmer the beer the faster the carbonation.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 09:19:08 AM by bluesman »
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Offline stlaleman

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #5 on: May 18, 2011, 09:05:32 AM »
Try a bottle from the other case. It might be over-carbed if your sugar wasn't properly mixed. If its the same, set your beer out where its a bit warmer, mid 70 range. If properly mixed (sugar that is) this should get you what you want in a couple weeks.

Offline Joe Sr.

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #6 on: May 18, 2011, 11:16:16 AM »
I agree to keep the bottles warm.  You can also turn them upside down and back once or twice to get the yeast back into suspension.

This, warm temps and time should do the trick.
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Offline brewmonk

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #7 on: May 19, 2011, 06:10:18 AM »
I agree to keep the bottles warm.  You can also turn them upside down and back once or twice to get the yeast back into suspension.

This, warm temps and time should do the trick.

I just lightly agitated the bottles to get the sediment mixed in again.  I'll just wait another few weeks as it is getting warmer here, and maybe re-agitate (gently) if there is some sediment.  Hopefully that will help.  I guess I wouldn't expect a higher alcohol content to make that much of a difference (if that is what it is), but I've never done one with this much alcohol before.
Thanks for all the advice though.  I'll let y'all know how it turns out.  :)
Br. Francis
Birra Nursia

Offline danny

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #8 on: May 19, 2011, 06:46:27 AM »
I am really not sure since it has been awhile since I bottle conditioned but isn't a "couple" of cups of water to much, shouldn't it be just 1.5 to 2 cups per 5oz.  I would tend to think that there was to much dilution of sugars, but I really don't know, I am just guessing.

Offline hokerer

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2011, 07:29:09 AM »
I am really not sure since it has been awhile since I bottle conditioned but isn't a "couple" of cups of water to much, shouldn't it be just 1.5 to 2 cups per 5oz.  I would tend to think that there was to much dilution of sugars, but I really don't know, I am just guessing.

No, that dilution isn't going to affect the carb level.  The amount of sugar is the critical quantity.
Joe

Offline richardt

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #10 on: May 19, 2011, 09:40:13 AM »
Besides, in this case, the OP overshot his OG.  Adding a bit of "extra" pre-boiled water along with the priming sugar just helps get him back a little closer to his target profile. 

You are correct, however, in saying that, as a routine practice for priming and bottling, one should minimize the extra water used to dissolve the priming sugar to just 1 or 2 cups in order to preserve the profile of the beer.

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #11 on: May 19, 2011, 10:01:47 AM »
isn't 'a couple' 2 cups? or am I being pedantic?
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

Offline brewmonk

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2011, 10:00:30 AM »
Well, I guess it was just taking a little patience and needing to stir up the yeast a bit.  I tried a bottle the other day and it is now decently carbonated.  Every few days I would turn the bottles end over end a few times to stir the yeast up a bit.  I'm not too worried about oxidation from the mixing since I don't expect this beer to sit around too long  ;D
Thanks for the advice, guys.  I was also thinking the room I put the bottles in might have gotten a bit cold right after bottling causing the yeast to settle out faster.  Whatever the case, I woke them up, and temperatures got warmer, and they've had more time, so whatever the case they have now done their job.
Br. Francis
Birra Nursia

Offline morticaixavier

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2011, 10:02:37 AM »
hooray!
"Creativity is the residue of wasted time" - A. Einstein

Jonathan I Fuller

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Re: Undercarbonated bottles
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2011, 09:23:14 AM »
How did you mix in your priming sugar (oh, and I assume you really meant 4 oz not 4 gms)?  If it wasn't thouroughly mixed with the wort, you could have some bottles with almost no carb and others that could have a lot.

I recommend stirring the beer after racking the beer over the priming sugar. It's cheap insurance prior to bottling to ensure even distribution of the sugar. Also, the warmer the beer the faster the carbonation.

Sorry to resurrect this thread, but actually, when I finally served the beer, it was surprisingly flat.  :-[
(Hence my other weak seal on bottles thread)
This was driving me crazy trying to figure out what happened.  >:(
Then just the other day, my brother and I opened two different bottles.  Mine was actually forming a head, while his had no head.  We tasted them and mine had an almost too sweet taste, his had a much better balance of flavors.  This happened again the next night.
Thinking back, I had been foolish and just dry-hopped by dumping the hop pellets into the primary (no bag).  Needless to say, the beer was a mess when racking; we must have had a clogged racking cane about three times, which probably meant bad flow and bad mixing of the priming sugar.  I didn't have a problem just racking onto the priming sugar in the past, but I also didn't dry-hop, and didn't have racking problems.

So the bad news is I have about 17 more bottles of inconsistently carbonated beer.
The good news is that it still tastes good, and only my brother and I find it tolerable.  ;D
But most of all, assuming my conclusion is right, I have learned a lesson to gently stir my beer and priming sugar before bottling.

Thanks again for the help, guys.
Br. Francis
Birra Nursia